Seeing Is Believing
Authenticity and transparency are key factors when it comes to retaining donors. These days, donors want to see clearly that their donation had an impact before giving again.
Michael Hoffman, CEO of visual media and Internet marketing firm See3 Communications, co-presented a session at the Bridge Conference a few weeks ago on using video and the Internet to attract and retain donors and members.
Hoffman says videos can connect supporters to the work that organizations are doing in remote places in a way that direct mail, brochures and even static Web sites can’t.
“People respond to stories and respond to real lives that are impacted by the work of an organization. What video does is it allows you to focus on those who are impacted by the work and create a kind of emotional connection between the donor and those individuals which was not really possible before,” Hoffman says.
“If I’m a donor and I give money to an organization, the biggest factor in me continuing to give money to that organization is the sense that the organization has used my money wisely and is doing good work that I want to continue to support,” he adds.
Most organizations produce videos for gala dinner presentations, but in addition to the fact that they’re time consuming and expensive, this use of video represents a mind set that Hoffman says organizations need to move beyond.
“You need to think about how you document the work that you do as an organization on a regular basis, and that can be with professional video but it also can be with photography, and it also can be with staff learning to shoot their own material,” he says. “The equipment is less expensive, and if you can train your staff to go out and shoot video, then what you’re doing is creating a library of content — a library of images and video about the things that you do as an organization. And all of that library of content can then be reused and repurposed into material that you can use for stewardship.”